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Medical Malpractice Attorney in Miami
Medical Malpractice Attorney in Miami
June 16, 2020 admin

Medical Malpractice Attorney in Miami

Have you or a loved one suffered from medical malpractice or negligence? According to The Agency for Healthcare Administration, only 9% of reported malpractice incidents in Miami are ever brought to suit [1]. This means that hundreds of people just like you are suffering from injuries due to negligence without due compensation. An experienced medical injury lawyer can evaluate your case and help change that.

What is Medical Malpractice?

When a healthcare provider fails to meet the governing standard of common medical practice, the negligent treatment (or lack thereof) can result in serious injury or even death. Doctors and healthcare facilities that fail to meet minimal standards of care harm both patients and their families.

When it comes to personal care management, patients don’t always have the knowledge to question the diagnosis or treatment decisions made by health care professionals. Luckily, trusted medical malpractice attorneys do have the expertise, and the attorneys at Schlacter Law are ready to fight for your rights as a wronged patient.

4 Common Areas of Medical Malpractice

Do you believe you have been a victim of medical malpractice? While most medical professionals will provide patients with the utmost care, complications resulting from negligence can arise before, during, and after surgery or treatment for medical conditions. The most common areas of medical malpractice include:

  1. Failure to diagnose an injury or illness. Diagnostic errors include failing to disclose a diagnosis to a patient, misdiagnosis of an illness, and misinterpreting diagnostic imaging. Such failures often result in the worsening of a condition or even death
  2. Delay or failure to provide appropriate treatment. Failures may include errors with medication, resulting in exacerbation of the current condition or for new complications to arise
  3. Surgical mistakes. Issues commonly seen during negligent surgery include injuries to other body structures, non-sterile techniques that lead to infection, retained surgical tools, anesthetic errors, or even wrong surgery site. Post-surgical issues stem from failure to recognize and treat complications from surgery
  4. Birth injuries. Failure of trained doctors, nurses, and midwives to anticipate, recognize, and respond properly to circumstances during birth can result in injury to babies and their mothers. Many times, it is impossible to predict the lasting impact birth injuries will have on a developing infant

There are many possible causes of medical malpractice in Florida, often due to inexperience, recklessness, or negligent conduct. An experienced attorney can help determine if your case constitutes medical malpractice. 

Common Medical Injuries

While each situation is unique, Miami malpractice lawyers are used to dealing with a wide range of medical injuries including but not limited to: fractures, nerve damage, paralysis, developmental disorders, cerebral palsy, or even death. Schlacter Law has recovered millions of dollars for injuries caused by another’s negligence. It is important to consult a medical lawyer if you suspect you or a loved one is suffering from an injury due to negligence or malpractice.

Fatal Medical Accidents

Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States [2], and many of those deaths are the result of preventable medical mistakes. Most of these preventable death cases are not pursued.  Generally, patients’ families are unaware of the signs of malpractice.  During such trying times, it is important to work with attorneys specializing in medical malpractice, who are well-versed in the case building process, so you can quickly begin gathering evidence.

Building a Case

In order to prove medical malpractice in Miami, four basic elements of a claim must be successfully presented: 

  • Duty—that the healthcare provider had the responsibility to provide reasonable and appropriate care to a patient.
  • Breach—that the healthcare professional failed to provide an appropriate standard of care to a patient.
  • Causation—that the professional’s breach in standard of care caused or contributed harm or death to a patient.
  • Damages—the patient sustained harm as a result of the doctor’s negligence.

How to File a Claim

There are numerous requirements and timelines for filing a valid malpractice suit in Miami, including:

  • Filing a notice of intent to sue a healthcare provider: before you can sue in court, you are required to serve a notice to the healthcare provider. Such notice must include an affidavit from a medical professional stating that you have a valid medical malpractice claim. Failure to provide this notice and/or refusal to provide reasonable access to information in your possession—prior to formal discovery—will be grounds for dismissal of the claim
  • Service of the claimant’s notice with preliminary reasonable grounds marks the beginning of a 90-day window, during which time the parties may elect to: 
    • Request to have damages determined by a panel of independent arbitrators. A voluntarily binding agreement may be accepted by the opposing party within 30 days of the requests’ issuance, but the defendant is not required to respond sooner than the 90-day window
    • In the event neither party requests or agrees to voluntary arbitration within the 90 days, the claim shall proceed to trial or another available legal alternative, such as an offer of settlement [3]
    • If the suit goes to court, the burden of proof is placed on the victim

Due to the complex nature of malpractice cases, it is highly recommended to seek the counsel of an experienced malpractice attorney. For a FREE consultation to discuss your case, call the attorneys at Schlacter Law at (305) 999-1111.

How We Handle Cases

  1. Investigation
    • Your attorney will aggressively investigate your case. Schlacter Law will compile all necessary evidence needed to maximize the value of your case. Which includes but is not limited to photographs, police reports, security camera footage, witness statements, medical bills and medical records.
    • You will remain in constant contact with Schlacter Law about the progression of your case.
  2. Negotiation
    • Your attorney will present your case to the insurance company and will attempt to resolve your case before the case goes to court for maximum compensation.
    • Your attorney will make every effort possible to resolve the case as quickly as possible for the most amount of money you may be entitled to. You will be actively involved in the negotiation process with your attorney. Schlacter Law understands that this is your one opportunity to get justice for your loss.
  3. Litigation
    • If settlement negotiations are unsuccessful, Schlacter Law will be fully prepared to bring your case to court to fight for the justice you deserve.
    • At no cost to you, Schlacter Law will hire any experts and professionals needed to maximize your recovery and present your case in the strongest form possible.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Take to File a Claim?

In Miami, the statute of limitation—the maximum amount of time someone can wait to file a medical malpractice claim—is only two years from the time when the person either knew or should have reasonably known that an injury or death occurred due to malpractice. In the special event that the provider actively and knowingly concealed the malpractice, the statute of limitations is two years from when the injury was finally discovered.

Can I negotiate with the healthcare facility or insurance company myself?

Florida medical malpractice law is unique and can be very complicated. Additionally, medical and insurance interests continuously lobby for legislation to make it harder for individuals to hold doctors and hospitals accountable for their mistakes. These laws may limit a patient’s options in a negligence case. The burden is on the plaintiff to prove the doctor or medical professional was liable, meaning it is up to the victim to provide the standard of proof that all four elements in the case exist. Due to the difficulty of establishing all elements of a malpractice case, most patients seek the counsel of a Miami lawyer specializing in medical malpractice, to ensure the best chances of a successful outcome. The experienced attorneys at Schlacter Law fight back against big insurance companies, using their expertise earned from hundreds of cases to win compensation for their clients. 

It is highly inadvisable to pursue a malpractice suit on your own. What’s more, in many cases, it ends up costing a patient less to pursue a case with a lawyer than it would have cost if the patient pursued a case of their own.

How much would a case cost to pursue on my own?

It is not recommended that you pursue a medical malpractice case on your own. Aside from spending hours familiarizing yourself with your case, Miami court procedures, and drafting a strategy, patients may also have to pay consultation fees to have a non-attending physician or expert witness review and interpret medical records and diagnostic imaging to provide key malpractice evidence. These fees vary significantly based on the experience of the witness, number of experts required, and the complexity of the case. You can expect total expert witness fees to be in the range of tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. Expert opinions are often crucial in persuading a jury as to how your doctor’s conduct was negligent under acceptable medical standards. 

How much does a personal injury lawyer cost?

The medical lawsuit lawyers at Schlacter Law use contingent fees, giving you the security of knowing that, unless your case is won, you will not have to pay any legal fees. In the tentative time when victims are generally still paying medical bills for injuries sustained due to negligence, the additional assurance that you are not liable to pay upfront can provide great piece of mind.

In most fee arrangements, the malpractice attorney will pay for the initial costs of the lawsuit. This normally includes the time and effort involved in extensive research, case investigation, and the legal expertise and trial preparation. Only if the case is successfully settled, the medical malpractice law firm will subtract that established contingent fee from the award, before giving the remaining award to the victim.

How much compensation can be awarded?

When it comes to malpractice settlements and awards, experienced malpractice attorneys vie for maximum compensation for several types of damages including:

  • Medical expenses–both past and future
  • Wages or loss of income—if the injury resulted in missed work or decrease in future earning capacity
  • Life adjustment costs—cost of household or nursing help during recovery
  • Pain and suffering—physical and emotional stress caused from an injury

The Florida Supreme Court struck down a statute putting monetary caps on medical malpractice cases.  This important legal victory protects patients and their families who may be living with life-long injuries as the result of a doctor’s negligence. To learn more about what your case might be worth, contact Schlacter Law today. 

How do I know if I am the victim of a medical malpractice?

A malpractice claim exists if a doctor’s failure to provide proper standard of care results in injury or lasting damage to a patient. On occasion, healthcare providers will inform a patient that the person has received negligent care from a prior provider, and will sometimes tell a patient that they, themselves, have made a mistake. However, not all patients will receive direct confirmation from a doctor. If you suspect you are experiencing or have experienced negligence, common signs may include: unsuccessful treatment for your condition, your treatment doesn’t seem to fit your diagnoses, or you’ve received a different second-opinion. It is important to consult a medical attorney as soon as possible. 

Is it hard to win a medical malpractice case?

Florida law is incredibly protective of medical professionals and facilities, making medical malpractice cases notoriously difficult for patients to win. The burden of proof is on the patient, and challenges inherent in a medical malpractice case include:

  • Proving that the doctor’s conduct and treatment course was medical negligence 
  • Convincing the jury that the doctor failed to provide proper standard of care
  • Finding a qualified malpractice law firm to present the best case
  • Many hospitals and doctors not having malpractice insurance; and
  • The existence of sovereign immunity and caps on damages for state hospitals and state funded hospitals

Hiring a malpractice attorney greatly increases a person’s chances of success.

Miami Personal Injury Attorney Brett Schlacter has handled thousands of personal injury cases and has won millions of dollars for his clients. In fact, the team at Schlacter Law is so confident in their representation that we work on a contingency fee basis meaning that, unless we win, you don’t pay. That confidence comes with the assurance that you will receive the compassion and individualized attention your case deserves. We are serious about helping our clients navigate the complexities of Miami personal injury law and will work tirelessly in the pursuit of justice for your personal injury.

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